Sport and Recreation Policy Committee
7 May 2019
Notice is hereby given, in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act 1993 that a Sport and Recreation Policy Committee meeting of ORANGE CITY COUNCIL will be held in the Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Byng Street, Orange on Tuesday, 7 May 2019.
For apologies please contact Administration on 6393 8218.
1.1 Declaration of pecuniary interests, significant non-pecuniary interests and less than significant non-pecuniary interests
The provisions of Chapter 14 of the Local Government Act, 1993 (the Act) regulate the way in which Councillors and designated staff of Council conduct themselves to ensure that there is no conflict between their private interests and their public role.
The Act prescribes that where a member of Council (or a Committee of Council) has a direct or indirect financial (pecuniary) interest in a matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council (or Committee), that interest must be disclosed as soon as practicable after the start of the meeting and the reasons given for declaring such interest.
As members are aware, the provisions of the Local Government Act restrict any member who has declared a pecuniary interest in any matter from participating in the discussion or voting on that matter, and requires that member to vacate the Chamber.
Council’s Code of Conduct provides that if members have a non-pecuniary conflict of interest, the nature of the conflict must be disclosed. The Code of Conduct also provides for a number of ways in which a member may manage non pecuniary conflicts of interest.
It is recommended that Committee Members now disclose any conflicts of interest in matters under consideration by the Sport and Recreation Policy Committee at this meeting.
RECORD NUMBER: 2019/833
AUTHOR: Scott Maunder, Director Community, Recreation and Cultural Services
The OESC have made a decision to close the indoor pool that they have operated for the past 50 years.
The OESC offered to Council the option to lease the facility for $1 per annum and meet all operating and capital costs required to open the facility.
This report provides an analysis of the operating costs of the OESC pool in its current model and an alternative approach.
Link To Delivery/OPerational Plan
The recommendation in this report relates to the Delivery/Operational Plan strategy “1.1 Live - Engage with the community to ensure recreation opportunities and facilities meet changing needs”.
Policy and Governance Implications
1 Continues with the feasibility study of OESC Pool including a detailed review and costing of the capital works required and;
2 That Council proceed with a feasibility study for the expansion of the Orange Aquatic Centre.
The recommendation of this report has been assessed against Council’s other key risk categories and the following comments are provided:
OESC have made a decision to close their indoor 25m pool. This has an impact on the community of Orange. Council could assume the operation of the facility, however it would not be an asset of Orange Council and presents significant risk to the budget position of Orange Council.
Image and Reputation
Should Council choose to operate the OESC pool, there is the potential for generation of positive goodwill with its users, however, there is also the risk of generation of negative goodwill due to the increased cost to ratepayers.
At its meeting of 19 March 2019 Council was addressed by the CEO of the Orange Ex-Services Club “OESC” in regard to the closure of the Indoor facility that the OESC had been operating for more than 50 years.
During the address to Council, the CEO advised that the facility had lost $170,000 in 2018 and that the projected future operating cost of more than $600,000 per annum.
The CEO also advised that essential capital works were required at an estimated cost of $378,000 which included a new DE filtration system including UV technology; new heater exchange; basic upgrade to showers and change rooms and a new pool lining.
The increase in the projected operating cost was identified following an assessment from Royal Lifesaving NSW that identified the need for two 2 lifeguards to be resent during the hours of operation.
The new filtration system including UV technology, such as in use at the Orange Aquatic Centre is required to meet water quality standards. Whilst the heating system, showers and pool lining all require upgrades for both safety and functionality.
The projected cost then over the next 10 years were approximately $6M in operating costs and $400,000 in capital costs.
At the conclusion of the address the CEO made an offer to Council to rent the entire space to OCC for $1 per annum for 10 years for Council to operate the facility.
Council then requested that an assessment of this offer be conducted.
The OESC made available its information to enable an initial assessment to be conducted which was presented to Council at its briefing of 9 April 2019.
OPERATING COSTS CURRENT MODEL
The OESC Pool operated from 5.30am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday, and 7.00am to 5.00pm Saturday and Sunday.
To operate the facility for these hours in accordance with the recommendations of Royal Lifesaving NSW with the identified staffing levels would be approximately $850,000 per annum.
This includes the increased cost for Lifeguards of $450,000 and increased depreciation of $40,000.
These costs are offset by revenue of $200,000 to $250,000 generated from learn to swim classes and general admissions.
Operating costs using this model then are between $600,000 and $650,000 per annum.
ALTERNATIVE OPERATING MODEL
Learn to Swim
Council’s learn to swim program and class availability is not limited by available water space but rather the availability of learn to swim instructors.
With the closure of the OESC pool, the learn to swim program has been expanded at the Orange Aquatic Centre to accommodate this demand.
This has been possible due to two factors. The first is that the demand for learn to swim classes is not uniform all year round with classes conducted during term 2 and term 3 of the school year being approximately 60% of the demand during term 1 and term 4. The absorption of learn to OESC swim program during terms 2 & 3 sees the total number of students approximating the demand in terms 1 & 4, which it is able to meet with the current Council learn to swim instructors.
However Council has also engaged learn to swim instructors from OESC to increase its capacity for the provision of lessons and will continue to seek instructors to enable it meet demand in terms 1 & 4.
Should Council consider the operation of the OESC pool, it is recommended that the Learn to Swim program be consolidated at the Orange Aquatic Centre as it enables economies of scale and does not split the management and supervision of the program across two sites.
Council only experiences pressure for lane space at its Aquatic Centre during the hours of 6.00am – 7.30am and 6.00pm to 7.30pm Monday to Friday.
This peak time is a result of multiple demands for lane space to conduct squad training during this time.
Council is able to meet the demands for these hours during summer operation, however with the closure of the outdoor pool during the winter months it cannot provide lane space at desired times for all groups. Lane space has been provided to all groups to enable them to continue their operations at alternative times.
Council could however alleviate this pressure by operating the OESC facility during these hours only. This model would not necessitate the provision of lifeguards during these hours with the need for administrative and maintenance staff to be in attendance.
The hours of operation could be 5.30 to 8.00 both mornings and evenings for Monday to Friday. This would enable the pool to be operated for lap (squad swimming) from 6.00 – 7.30 mornings and evenings.
The staff cost for this model would be 1 staff member for 20 hours per week at a cost of $1,000 per week. Additional supervision and management costs would be approximately 10 hours of $500 per week. Operating costs to heat and maintain the pool would be approximately $1,000 per week bringing the annual operating cost to approximately $150,000 per annum.
This model would also enable the hours of operation to be expanded if demand increased.
Council could also meet the demand for additional water space with a modification of facilities at the Orange Aquatic Centre. This could encompass the depth of the toddlers pool being increased to enable lap swimming whilst also enabling learn to swim classes.
The current dive pool could also be modified to enable lap swimming and learn to swim classes being conducted.
The ensure water quality, filtration systems should filter the entire water content of the pool in a 4 hour period. Current UV technology for sanitising the water should also be in place. This is why when there is a contamination from faeces of vomiting that Council closes the affected pool for 4 hours which enables the water to be cleaned.
The filtration system at the OESC neither has UV technology in place nor can filter the contents of the pool in 4 hours.
To install an appropriate filtration system has been costed at $250,000.
The existing heater exchange to heat the water, boiler system to heat the air and associated duct work, pool lining, change rooms and showers all require replacement or upgrades. The estimated cost for this element is $150,000.
These costs however have not been able to be verified and are based on visual inspections of the plant and equipment and could be significantly increased. This is the greatest risk of undertaking the operation for the OESC pool.